The Album Leaf is an American musical project founded in San Diego, California in 1998 and centered on Jimmy LaValle. It is part of the post-rock genre and uses a variety of instruments and electronic equipment to achieve a mellow, sometimes ambient sound.The Album Leaf officially began in 1998 as the solo project of Jimmy LaValle, guitarist for San Diego, California-based post-rock instrumental band Tristeza. LaValle has also performed in several other San Diego-area bands, including The Crimson Curse, The Locust, Swing Kids and GoGoGo Airheart.During downtime in the fall of 1998, LaValle began playing drums for San Diego band GoGoGo Airheart. Their singer and guitarist, Mike Vermillion (who later inspired the song name “Vermillion” on One Day I’ll Be on Time), recorded LaValle doing improvised material on a Rhodes Piano to a vintage Roland drum machine. This would become his first full-length album, the 10-track An Orchestrated Rise to Fall. Benjamin White of GoGoGo Airheart and Vermillion supplied synthesizers and vocals to these recordings.
LaValle played his first official Album Leaf show at the Che Cafe in the winter of 1999. Band members for this show consisted of Rafter Roberts, Jimmy Lehner (of Tristeza), Leilani Clark (of local San Diego band, “the Straight A’s” also with LaValle), Benjamin White (of GoGoGo Airheart), and John Pham.